– Quin Snyder: On Process, Patience And How An Elite Defense is Built (from Ben Dowsett, Basketball Insiders):
“The biggest [challenge] offensively is spacing,” Snyder said. “When you’re the best player on the floor, sometimes it doesn’t matter where you are as much. People have to kind of react to you. And now you’re in a situation where there’s people with equal or more ability than you on the offensive end, and [you’re figuring] out how you need to space to help them, and also to help yourself to facilitate high percentage offense.”
Snyder had nowhere to go but up defensively. The Jazz were the league’s worst per-possession defense last season, with an ill-fitting scheme and a vast lack of the type of cohesiveness that defines the league’s stingier units. Quin set straight to work, identifying the largest issue immediately.
“I think pick-and-roll defense, for our group [was the biggest hurdle],” Snyder said. “Even the guys that have been here, the scheme is very different, so there’s a learning process that you go through when you’re implementing a defensive system too. And that’s such an important part of defense now in the NBA that it took some time – and not just on the ball.”
This last nugget is vital. The first step in fixing Utah’s sieve-like defense against the league’s most common and effective play type was pushing his young group to the realization that, despite there only being two players directly involved in the action, it takes all five on the court to properly defend it.”
Read and view it here: http://www.basketballinsiders.com/quin-snyder-on-process-patience-and-how-an-elite-defense-is-built/
– Brad Stevens is the Celtics’ greatest asset (from Jesus Gomez, sbnation):
” Coaching is often underrated in the NBA. It’s not uncommon to see franchises go for recognizable names, who have neither a great past record on the sideline, nor fresh ideas to bring to a team. The carousel continues and the Byron Scotts and Mike Browns of the world keep getting opportunities that should be going to more innovative coaches, who can extract the best from the talent they have.
Quin Snyder in Utah and Mike Budenholzer in Atlanta are two examples of first time NBA coaches who led their teams to significant turnarounds. Yet, there’s no better way to illustrate how important finding the right leader can be to a franchise, than to watch what Brad Stevens is doing with the Celtics.”
Read it here: http://www.sbnation.com/nba/2015/4/11/8387475/brad-stevens-celtics-greatest-asset
– Why Brad Stevens Should Be Coach Of The Year (from Stephen Varnum, hardwoordhoudini.com):
” (T)he job Stevens has done has been nothing short of a miracle with what he has had to work with.”
Read and view it here: http://hardwoodhoudini.com/2015/04/11/why-brad-stevens-should-be-coach-of-the-year/
– Avery Bradley believes he should make NBA All-Defensive team (from Jay King, masslive.com):
” Bradley was named to the All-Defensive second team as a second-year pro in 2013, but was only listed on four ballots last season, including one vote for the first team. He hasn’t heard his name mentioned much this season as a candidate, and the perceived lack of recognition is bothering him.
“I just know that (I’m the best on-ball defender),” Bradley said. “I know if players sat down and thought about it, they’re going to say me. For sure. Not to take anything away from anybody else.
“I don’t even know (if some votes are based on reputation) because I thought I had that reputation. But last year, I don’t think I got any votes (as mentioned earlier, he actually had four). It’s crazy.”
‘I don’t play for steals,’ Bradley said. “I play to stop people. That’s what wins games. It’s like they base it off of steals and stuff.”
Read it here: http://www.masslive.com/celtics/index.ssf/2015/04/boston_celtics_avery_bradley_b.html
– Jeff Hornacek Not To Blame For Suns’ Struggles (from Gerald Bourguet, Valleyofthesuns.com):
” With the Suns having regressed from their 48-win campaign in 2013-14, Hornacek’s name has been mentioned as the scapegoat for this season’s failures.
Here’s why that couldn’t be further from the truth.”
Read it here: http://valleyofthesuns.com/2015/04/11/jeff-hornacek-not-blame-suns-struggles/
– Fourth quarter problems soften as Orlando Magic continue to grow (from Philip Rossman-Reich, orlandomagicdaily):
Read and view it here: http://orlandomagicdaily.com/2015/04/11/fourth-quarter-problems-soften-as-orlando-magic-continue-to-grow/
– Who should Andrew Wiggins study? (from David Thorpe, ESPN):
” For Wiggins to reach his potential as a devastating scorer, he simply has to add adept ballhandling to his repertoire. Right now Wiggins can push the ball in a straight line, but he doesn’t use his dribble to help him create attacking angles in half-court isolations, where the ball actually slows him down instead.
That’s not the case with Harden, who has a better handle than any player standing over 6-foot-4. He uses his ballhandling skill like a sledgehammer, constantly destroying defenders by making them think he is attacking one way before deftly beating them off the dribble another way.
Kevin Durant is another player who exploded as a scorer once he became a far better dribbler, but it’s Harden’s change of speed and ability to use the ball to trick defenders that Wiggins should be watching all summer.”
Read and view it here: http://espn.go.com/nba/story/_/id/12638585/andrew-wiggins-study
– The fall and rise of Delonte West (from Rick Maese, Washington Post):
“West’s Legends team, eliminated from playoff contention, is playing one of its final games. Days later most players will leave Texas and go their separate ways. Not West. He will stay in the Dallas area, convinced more than ever that everything is about to turn.
The fall and rise of Delonte West looks like this: mistakes, guns, mood disorders, money woes; second, third and fourth chances, stints in China and Venezuela; unwavering confidence that despite a nearly three-year absence from the NBA, he’ll soon be back.
West knows he has to keep explaining. Initially, he had to understand for himself how he got here, how someone who played eight NBA seasons and earned more than $16 million and who played alongside LeBron James now sleeps on a fold-out bed in the two-bedroom home of a family member. “It took me a long time to forgive myself,” he said.
But West also knows that even though he’s finally comfortable with who he is, the real key to returning to the NBA is convincing everyone else to be comfortable with who he is, too.”
Read it here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/wizards/the-fall-and-rise-of-delonte-west/2015/04/10/bd0e047a-de19-11e4-b6d7-b9bc8acf16f7_story.html
And for those with access to ESPN Insider:
– Injuries place Rockets, Hawks in peril (from Amin Elhassan):
Read it here: http://insider.espn.go.com/nba/insider/story/_/id/12661644/injuries-place-rockets-hawks-peril-nba-insider-daily
Additional Player Notes, Updates, Profiles:
– Andrew Bogut: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865626203/Warriors-Andrew-Bogut-reaping-rewards-of-centers-health.html
– Joe Ingles: http://www.slcdunk.com/2015/4/11/8387103/jazz-joe-ingles-gordon-hayward-rodney-hood-dante-exum-alec-burks-elijah-millsap-improvement
– Mike Conley: http://www.commercialappeal.com/sports/grizzlies/griz-morning-after-conley-against-shutting-down
– Ryan Kelly: http://www.insidesocal.com/lakers/2015/04/11/lakers-ryan-kelly-eager-to-prove-he-can-play-after-experiencing-frustrating-season/
– Dion Waiters: http://newsok.com/dion-waiters-has-become-a-valuable-hand-for-the-short-handed-thunder/article/5409411
– Jrue Holiday: http://www.nola.com/pelicans/index.ssf/2015/04/jrue_holiday_played_his_first.html
– Derrick Rose: http://www.csnchicago.com/bulls/bulls-butler-returning-rose-noah-have-restrictions-lessened
– Ish Smith/Thomas Robinson/Isaiah Canaan: http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/sixers/20150410_Sixers__rebuild_could_have_a_place_for_Smith__Robinson.html
– Andrew Wiggins/Zach LaVine: http://www.canishoopus.com/2015/4/9/8367705/andrew-wiggins-zach-lavine-improved-flip-saunders-three-pointers-3-point-shot